On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Monmouth County, Docket No. FM-13-1862-02.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Before Judges Sapp-Peterson and Espinosa.
In this post-judgment matrimonial matter, plaintiff appeals from two orders entered by the Family Part: a June 20, 2008 order fixing his share of the medical insurance obligation for the minor children born of the marriage at $155 per month, and a November 28, 2008 order increasing plaintiff's child support obligation without first conducting a plenary hearing, refusing to adjust his portion of the monthly health insurance premium from $155 per month to $67 per month, and also refusing to amend the June 20 order to conform to the court's statement of reasons relative to reimbursing plaintiff $683.98. We affirm in part and reverse in part.
The parties were divorced pursuant to a Final Judgment of Divorce (FJOD) dated March 30, 2004. The FJOD incorporated a Matrimonial Settlement Agreement (MSA) the parties also executed on March 30, 2004. Two children were born of the marriage, and under the MSA, defendant would "continue to maintain residential custody of the minor children." The MSA also included a provision entitling defendant to seek "re[-]computation of Husband's child support level, with the understanding that Husband's child support obligation shall always remain at a minimum level of $1,000 per month," in the event plaintiff became more than thirty days delinquent in his monthly child support obligation.
On April 9, 2008, defendant filed a motion seeking, in addition to other relief, an increase in child support and reimbursement for fifty percent of the medical insurance premiums deducted from her salary, which, according to defendant, totaled $5,885.46. In support of the application, defendant submitted a certification in which she stated that plaintiff had failed to pay his share of the medical insurance premiums since 2004. Among the supporting documents provided was a pay stub confirming that she paid $155 every two weeks for family medical, vision and dental care. On June 12, plaintiff filed a cross-motion seeking $7,000 in un-reimbursed medical expenses, educational costs and other funds expended on behalf of the minor children for which plaintiff alleged defendant should be required to contribute financially. In support of his cross-motion, plaintiff submitted a certification in which he acknowledged that he had not paid his share of the children's health insurance premiums but attributed his failure to the fact that defendant never provided him with the necessary documentation.
The court conducted oral argument on June 20 and, on that same date, entered an order: (1) compelling plaintiff, within thirty days of the date of the order, to provide to defendant a completed Case Information Statement; (2) directing plaintiff to provide statements of his annual income for the years 2002 to 2004 to defendant; (3) directing payment to defendant of $155 per month, representing one-half of the monthly health insurance premium; and (4) permitting defendant the opportunity to file an application for the calculation of support based upon the documents presented. The court denied defendant's motion to modify the allocation of the medical expenses. The court also denied plaintiff's cross-motion in its entirety.
On August 29, defendant filed a second motion seeking an increase in child support, reimbursement for medial insurance premiums in the amount of $5,885.44, enforcement of the June 20 order requiring plaintiff to reimburse defendant in the amount of $155 per month for plaintiff's share of the children's medical insurance premiums, reimbursement of college expenses defendant had paid on behalf the parties' eldest child, and setting a "pro rate [sic] of college contribution." Plaintiff opposed the motion and, among the arguments advanced in opposition to defendant's motions, was plaintiff's contention that defendant had not provided information regarding her assets and liabilities, he had not received income from employment throughout 2008, his company had been in severe financial distress as a result of its delisting from the Irish Stock Exchange, and that given his employment situation, namely, that he had not received a salary for seven years, defendant was not entitled to an increase in child support. Plaintiff argued further that once he received the court's June 20 order, he started paying $77, representing one-half of $155, as he believed the court's order required him to do. Additionally, plaintiff requested that the court amend the June 20 order to reflect that he was entitled to reimbursement for uncovered medical expenses totaling $683.98. Plaintiff also sought counsel fees for defense of the motion.
The court conducted oral argument on November 21 and orally rendered its decision on November 28. Addressing plaintiff's argument relative to his obligation under the June 20 order to pay $155 per month towards the minor children's medical premiums the court stated:
As far as I am concerned, the language of the June 20th, 200 order is clear. It reads, "Mr. Argyriou shall be responsible for one-half of the monthly insurance premiums at $155 per month."
Plaintiff has a copy of the [c]court's transcripts, which reads, "He should pay for one-half of the monthly insurance premium or $155 per month." See the transcript on Page 31, Lines 13 through 14. There is no basis as to why the plaintiff is only paying $77.50 or continues to do so even after a review of the transcript in question.
The court next turned its attention to plaintiff's objection to the increased child support award:
In terms of the child support review, the order of June 20th, 2008 required plaintiff to submit a completed case information statement with a balance sheet of family assets and statements of his annual earned income for the years 2002 through 2004, as well as the value ...